How do I know if my rescue dog was abused? Here’s What to Expect

#2 – Food aggression

How do I know if my rescue dog was abused?

Does your dog scarf their food down so quickly that you wonder if they’re actually tasting it? Do they refuse to walk away from their bowl in the middle of eating? Do they growl or snap at you or other dogs for coming too close when they’re eating? These may all be signs that your dog grew up in a situation where they didn’t have a reliable source of food. Food aggression can be very dangerous and should be discussed with a trainer or veterinarian immediately.

How do you get a rescue dog to trust you?

Here is some general advice on building trust with your rescue dog from my personal experience.

  • Be calm and respectful. …
  • Don’t pressure the dog, and let them dictate your interactions. …
  • Be the leader your dog needs. …
  • Find out what the dog loves and focus on that. …
  • Don’t hesitate to comfort the dog.
  • There are other signs to look out for which are a bit more subtle. These include long nails, fur that doesn’t look healthy, as well as areas on their body where they do not like to be touched. Understandably, it can be heartbreaking seeing the physical effects of what your dog has endured previously. However, with them now in your tender loving care, this can provide reassurance that they are and always will be in safe hands.

    Seeing your dog anxious and distressed should never go ignored. While you can’t fully understand and imagine what has happened to them in the past, you can look at ways to relieve their suffering and help them feel more comfortable and at ease in your home.

    Dogs have their own way of working out their emotions and feelings. These include obsessively licking themselves. However, this coping mechanism isn’t great for them. There are a ton of reasons behind this kind of obsession that you need to look into. If your rescue dog continues to obsessively lick themselves, this is another red flag that indicates past abuse.

    Canines that are extra clingy may have developed severe separation anxiety, to the extreme that they howl, whine, or become destructive the moment you step away from them. Of course, this can be highly difficult to experience, so it may be time to look into hiring a dog trainer to help.

    Just like with humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety too. In fact, there are similar traits to look out for. These include excessive panting, barking, pacing, and drooling. Other signs of dog anxiety include defecating or urinating in the house, aggression, destructive behavior and restlessness. Native Pet have a guide on dog anxiety which can explain these symptoms further, as well as what action to take.

    How To Tell If Your Rescue Has Been Abused | Lucky Dog

    Formerly abused dogs will often cower if they are afraid, or try to hide or crawl away. Some dogs may urinate around the house or try to escape the room when they feel scared. Other dogs may turn to aggression as a defense system and try to bite you.